Influential Iranian filmmaker Amir Naderi’s internationally funded, Tokyo-set produc tion is not your average slice-of-life tale. Fiercely unconventional, Cut stole Naderi away from his (semi-)native New York and planted him in the middle of a unique fund ing scheme. The aptly named Tokyo Story, a production outfit consisting of two bank ers with a lot of bright ideas, found a way to dodge big-industry bucks, keeping Cut independent and one hundred per cent real. Besides, what big studio would dare make a film about the end of cinema?
Using stark black-and-white imagery and a raw, digital aesthetic, Cut tells the story of Shuji (Hidetoshi Nishijima), an unknown filmmaker who craves great cinema like a junkie dying for a fix. The only problem, he figures, is that great films are dead — unless he can find a way to make them himself. Shuji seeks solace on rooftops or in grave yards, where he preaches the gospel of the old film classics with the manic energy of a television evangelist to whoever will listen. The only thing that regularly quells his mania is the sound of his 16mm projec tor playing the works of Kurosawa, Ozu or Mizoguchi at the weekly screenings he hosts above his apartment. That is, until two thugs suddenly appear and drag him away.
Much like his leading man, Naderi received his cinematic education by devour ing golden oldies and forming relationships with notable film critics who later prompted him to become part of the New Iranian Cinema and benefit from its increasing international reach. However, unlike Naderi, Shuji only ever manages to make a few forgettable films that almost no one sees. These films are financed exclusively by his obliging brother, who borrows money from the yakuza. When the gang demands their debt be cleared, Shuji puts his love for mov ies to the test, offering to work as a human punching bag. It’s a role that could easily cost him his life — or maybe, just maybe, earn him enough self-respect to make another movie. A great one. — Toronto International Film Festival
Amir Naderi (Persian: امیر نادری, born 15 August, 1946 in Abadan) is a notable Iranian film director, screenwriter and one of the most influential figures of 20th-century Persian cinema.
Naderi developed his knowledge of cinema by watching films at the theater where he worked as a boy, reading film criticism, and making relationships with leading film critics. He began his career with still photography for some notable Iranian features. In the 1970s, Naderi turned to directing, and made some of the most important features of the New Iranian Cinema. In 1971, his directorial debut, Goodbye Friend was released in Iran. Mr. Naderi first came into the international spotlight with films that are now known as cinema classics, The Runner (1985), and Water, Wind, Dust (1989). The Runner is considered by many critics to be one of the most influential films of the past quarter century. After a number of his films were banned by the Iranian government… read more
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